Solar Batteries 101: How They Work and What Homeowners Need to Know

While most homeowners know that adding a solar array to their homes can save money on energy bills, only a handful have enhanced their systems with a solar home battery.

Not only do home battery storage systems allow you to back up your home in the event of an outage and reduce reliance on the grid, but they also make it possible to dodge peak energy charges, which is an additional money-saving perk.

If you’re wondering whether a home battery backup system is right for you, we’re here to help. Here’s what you need to know.

The Benefits of a Solar Home Battery

Installing a solar home battery offers many perks. Here are a few of the most compelling reasons to consider adding battery backup to your residential system:

  1. Batteries Store Energy for When You Need it

Adding a solar home battery allows you to store energy. Your home can then draw upon this power at night or during grid outages. This reduces energy bills and promotes energy independence.

  1. Batteries Help You Break Free From the Utility Grid

A house with a solar array is its own micro-grid. This allows you to go net-zero. In addition to lowering utility bills, most residential micro-grids produce excess power in the summer months, which can then be credited back to the grid.

  1. Batteries Power Your Home’s Appliances

Solar batteries can power your home’s lights, small appliances, and computers. This means you don’t need a generator or a flashlight to keep your home running if the power goes out.

  1. Solar Batteries Provide Clean Power

Solar batteries are excellent sources of clean energy. Recently, the Middle East has used them on solar-powered boats, which were deployed to clean floating debris from local lagoons. Additionally, a startup in Israel has developed an everlasting solar battery, designed to power remote and mobile devices.

How Home Battery Systems Work

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Confused about how a home battery system works? Here’s a simple breakdown:

  1. The solar panel collects energy from the sun and stores the unused excess in the battery
  2. The system’s inverter converts the stored energy into AC power
  3. The inverter then sends it back to your electrical panel, which powers your home

The Types of Solar Home Batteries Available

There are several different types of solar batteries available. These include the following:

  1. Lead Acid

Lead acid batteries are a standby in residential off-grid energy systems. While they don’t last as long as other batteries, they’re an affordable option for people who don’t need a great deal of energy storage. These are best utilized in off-grid applications.

  1. Lithium Ion

Lithium-ion batteries are light and compact. They also last longer than their lead-acid counterparts. SonnenBatterie, one of the most popular lithium-ion battery brands on the market, offers Lithium-Iron-Phosphate cells for residential systems. Tesla Powerwall Batteries, are also popular, and the new LG Chems are promising.

  1. Saltwater Batteries

Saltwater batteries use saltwater electrolytes in place of heavy metals. The benefit of these cells is that they don’t require a special disposal process and are easy to recycle. They are also non-toxic and do not off-gas. However, they are larger and require more space.

Talk to Your Local Solar Installer to Get a Solar Battery Today

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Solar batteries are widely available from certified solar installers, including Sandbar Solar. Here are a few things to consider as you begin your search for a solar battery:

Battery Rank. Batteries are ranked according to their amp-hours. If a battery is rated at 100 amp-hours, for example, it can produce 10 amps of electricity for 10hours.

Battery Lifespan.  A battery’s lifespan relates to its depth-of-discharge. Lifespan also takes cycle life into consideration – one cycle is the time it takes for a fully charged battery to drain below 30 percent capacity, and then charge back fully again.  Outback Power offers quality deep-cycle batteries many homeowners like.

If you have additional questions about which solar battery is right for you, speak to your local solar installer. By improving the functionality of residential solar systems, solar home battery storage can make your home more efficient and energy-independent.

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